The Park City Fourth of July parade Thursday featured nearly 60 floats—all Summit County or Park City locals—with born-and-bred Parkite and World War II veteran Carl Workman leading the “Hats Off to America”-themed parade as Grand Marshall.
Until about 9 a.m. Thursday, it was empty chairs and blankets that lined both sides of Park City Main Street. As the day grew warmer, families, friends and their dogs—decked out in as much red, white and blue as they could manage—lined the one-and-a-half-mile parade route from the top of Main Street down Park Ave. First-time parade goer Brandon Olson came from Lehi with his family and was granted a bit of beginner’s luck.
"We came just this morning, about an hour ago, and everything was staked out," Olson said. "Then we were kind of like where a cross street is where they have everything blocked off, so we actually were able to get us a spot."
While parade watchers filled Main Street, parade participants lined up on Swede Alley, slathering on the sunscreen and putting the finishing touches on their floats.
Holy Cross Ministries has walked in the parade more than 10 times. Students from the summer camp program worked on the float, which was covered in silver fringe and red and blue sashes. The kids got up extra early to finish it.
“We just wanted to celebrate our patriotism and our community and kind of just help each other out by decorating our big parade float," one participant said. "That’s why we woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning, just so we were ready, but it's been so much fun just hanging out with all these people and getting to know them a lot better.”
Park City’s Independence Day celebrations attract an estimated 40,000 people, including locals who have been participating in the festivities for years as well as visitors who escaped the heat in their hometowns for a mountain town celebration. Such is the case with Park City resident Minou Boyer’s mother and sister, visiting from Florida.
“We just love to come here," Boyer's mother said. "We love every chance we can to come here, and Becky lives in Orlando, and we've been having 100-degree weather every day, so it’s a beautiful day for the Fourth. It’s a beautiful day for us to be here.”
Some of the parade float winners include The Frog Prince, for Humor and Funk; Mariachi Zavala, for Heritage; and the Alzheimer’s Association, for Community Engagement.